Arredondo: New year, new kids, new look

Hours before the big grand opening at Arredondo Elementary in Tempe, a rainbow appeared in the sky following a monsoon storm. (Photo courtesy Tempe Elementary)

Kids, parents and staff who returned to Arredondo Elementary School had a whole new look awaiting them, and a welcome one at that.

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting Aug. 3 that preceded their first day back was accompanied by the school’s traditional Meet the Teacher night, followed by a tour and, to make sure the students got a taste of their newly remodeled digs, free hot dogs.

The school, which was originally built in 1973, underwent extensive renovations over the 2016-17 school year, expanding the campus to 66,813 square feet, with 27 classrooms, three music rooms and project and assessment labs.

The new and renovated spaces, part of the work undertaken by McCarthy Building Companies, included:

  • Five common spaces throughout the campus within the classroom areas (breakout areas with secondary supervision)
  • A new updated learning commons (library) designed to be a community asset; renovated
  • multipurpose room; and a 3,000-square-foot cafeteria with a new kitchen/serving area
  • Increased parent and staff parking and student drop-off and pick-up
  • Enlarged and dedicated bus drop-off and pick-up location
  • Day-lighting within all classrooms, designed to result in energy savings
  • Increased security throughout the campus
  • Reoriented campus to provide a welcoming front entrance
  • Outdoor learning spaces
Alison Breuning-Hamati, principal of Arredondo Elementary. (Wrangler News photo)

“In projects like Arredondo, it is important to understand the difference between renovation and transformation,” said Pamela Loeffelman, DLR’s vice president of education

“Arredondo is more than a renovation with new additions; it really represents a transformation of the entire facility reflecting the heart and spirit of the community,”

Arredondo Elementary School’s name honors longtime Tempe residents Alejandro and Josefa

Arredondo. Mrs. Arredondo worked in Tempe Elementary cafeterias. All of the Arredondo children have worked in education.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country.